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TomTom chooses DMTI Spatial as provider of Canadian location data

TomTom chooses DMTI Spatial

Quality and precision led to DMTI’s selection by world’s largest navigation solutions provider

Markham, ON – July 10th, 2013. DMTI Spatial Inc. (DMTI), Canada’s leading provider of location intelligence solutions, has reached an agreement with TomTom, a leading provider of navigation and location-based products and services. DMTI will provide high precision Canadian address points and other geospatial data to TomTom for the company’s GPS navigation systems and offerings.

“DMTI will help take TomTom Maps to the next level in Canada, by helping to make our map products even more accurate,” said Eszter Pattantyus, Vice President, TomTom Maps. “Millions of drivers use TomTom data every day; therefore, precision is absolutely crucial to us so that we can provide the best navigational experience.”

“TomTom’s decision to use data from DMTI further validates our position as the market leader for location based data services in Canada,” offered Phil Kaszuba, DMTI’s Vice President and General Manager. “TomTom has a reputation for high quality navigation solutions and we are proud to partner with them to bring our nation’s best location data to Canadian consumers where and when they need it.”

About DMTI Spatial Inc.DMTI Spatial

DMTI has been providing industry-leading enterprise Location Economics solutions for almost two decades to Global 2000 companies and government agencies. DMTI’s world-class Location Hub® platform enables real-time decisions by uniquely identifying, validating, analyzing and maintaining a universe of location-based data. Through a strong partner ecosystem, DMTI enables its customers to use location as a frame of reference to enrich customer, prospect, vendor and infrastructure insight with a wide variety of attributes to better identify risk and opportunity.

About TomTom
Founded in 1991, TomTom (TOM2) is a leading provider of navigation and location-based products and services. TomTom maps, traffic information and navigation technology power automotive in-dash systems, mobile devices, web based applications and government and business solutions.

TomTom also designs and manufactures its own location-based products including portable navigation devices and fleet management solutions, as well as GPS-enabled sports watches. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom has 3,500 employees worldwide and sells its products in over 35 countries.

For further information, please visit www.tomtom.com

34th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing

Event: 34th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing
Date: August 27-29, 2013
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Venue: Victoria Conference Centre

“These are exciting times for remote sensing research and applications in Canada. The recent commitment of funding to launch the RADARSAT Constellation will mean a continued Canadian imaging microwave presence in space. Canadians are leaders in the development of airborne active and passive sensor technologies. We are also on the cusp of multisensor UAV platform development that promises to revolutionize high resolution data acquisition and research. Applications from marine, arctic and northern surveillance, environmental modelling and monitoring, and resource exploration are also coming of age.” Olaf Niemann – General Conference Chair

CRSS-SCT REMOTE SENSING LOGO

The 34th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing will take place in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia this summer from August 27 to the 29. This years conference will be the first one under the new independent society (the Canadian Remote Sensing Society – CRSS separated from CASI last fall).

CRSS invites all the Canadian Geomatics, Earth Observation and Remote Sensing communities and any one interested in Remote Sensing to join them in Victoria. The conference program has not yet been finalized and the deadline for papers have been extended so there is still time for those interested in presenting.

The CRSS Canadian Symposiums that I have attended in the past have all been very informative and entertaining and I am sure that this one in August will be no different. To register for the event see the event registration page. http://geog.uvic.ca/CSRS2013/CSRS_2013_En/Registration_Accommondation.html

Free Georeferenced Topographic Map Sheets

So far this year Natural Resources Canada has released over 350 updated or new topographic map sheets and made them available to the public in what they refer to as the CanTopo series. CanTopo is considered the next generation of topographic map sheets that provides quality spatial information that fully complies with international geomatic standards.

The digital maps are considered multipurpose because they can be utilized for a wide range of uses from many different organizations and individuals. Georeferenced versions can also be used with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and other digital geographic data sets with various software packages such as Google Earth, ArcMap or Global Mapper. You can also simply print them and use them the way they are, as regular NTS paper maps, just like most of done for years.

Town of Banff Online Maps and Apps

As many of you already know or perhaps may have recently discovered, CanadianGIS.com has been high-lighting places in Canada that have an online web mapping site or application in order to help better provide information to their residents.

Town of Banff

Now this month the Town of Banff is featured as they too have now joined the spatial ranks of several other Cities and Municipalities in Canada with the launch of their own online mapping site (Simply check out the Web Maps category link or the site search tools along the right side to find many other great Canadian Online Map sites featured).

Their new Maps and Apps website created by the Town of Banff GIS and IT departments now provides free public access to maps and geospatial applications that help the Town of Banff provide better services and connect with it’s own citizens in a new way.

Through pre-made web served maps created from a collection of over 200 different layers of geographic information, people can find local services, learn more about projects, explore regions of Banff or create their own maps. The various geospatial applications also provide a new way to allow citizens to get more involved by providing them with interactive tools, such as better ways to report street light outages or problems with transportation.

Using Esri Canada’s Community Maps Program and ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based GIS solution, the Town of Banff has been able to serve detailed accurate base maps, provide several pre-made maps and value added applications. This mapping solution has allowed them to efficiently produce more than 25 free maps and applications (online, mobile & PDF) such as the Bike Banff mobile app or the interactive Heritage Walking Tour application. The pre-made free maps and applications make it easier for residents and visitors to quickly find the information they need to help make better decisions.

 

Town of Banff Online Maps

 

 The maps and apps are organized around city services and the information you need to do business with the Town of Banff on a daily basis. You’ll find maps and apps provided by the Town’s departments of Corporate Services, Engineering, Operations, Planning, and Community Services.The site will also highlight innovators and innovations that demonstrate a more collaborative and open government.

The various maps and apps available on BanffMaps.ca are supported by the following browsers: Firefox 3.5+, Chrome 4+, Internet Explorer 7+, and Apple Safari 3+.

If you have an application that is not listed in the Maps and Apps gallery or can think of a great idea of one using Town of Banff data, then they have a section on the site where you can submit your map or application.

Town of Banff are also further exploring their mapping capabilities by planning to deploy several staff with iPhone smartphone devices, providing them with the ability to access and update GIS data from outside the office. This could provide value added management where staff can track snow-plow locations, report accidents and traffic congestion as well as many other time sensitive tasks.

Now while this site may not be as robust or great as some other online map applications that I have covered, it still is a pretty easy to use mapping site with plenty of  free maps and applications making it easier for residents and visitors to quickly find the information they need to help make better decisions. So keep an eye on this site as it will no doubt grow much larger as more people discover it and get involved.

If you know of an online web mapping site that should be included in the CanadianGIS.com collection of Canadian Online Map Sites then I encourage you to contact me.

Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure Interoperability

Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure Interoperability

The video above from Natural Resources Canada discusses GeoConnection’s CGDI Interoperability Project.

Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure Interoperability“After six years of work developing standards and products, a group of public and private sector participants came together in the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure or CGDI Interoperability Pilot Project.

This Open Geospatial Consortium project culminated in a nation-wide demonstration of standards-based products that allow immediate access to current data. The project showed how municipal, provincial and territorial authorities can now update data and automatically make their data available online in real time to those who need it, anywhere across Canada.

Real-time updates make it much easier to keep data current, which is critical to the success of many applications. Local data producers can manually invoke a notification. They can also set up the local server to do this periodically or whenever an update occurs. This means no more waiting for the latest version of the database!”

[Source: http://geoconnections.nrcan.gc.ca]

Comparison of Free Online Map Sites ‘Bing Maps vs Google Maps’

Comparison of top Free Online Map Sites - 'Bing Maps vs Google Maps'

Online web mapping for most people is still a relatively new concept; however it has actually been around now for many years now, long enough that a good majority of us now take it for granted. And like many other great products from our modern society there are always various versions or brands that tend to shine and become more popular than the others.

They have evolved so much over the past few years that I am sure you have noticed that even more people have them with them everywhere they go via, GPS navigation units, net books, tablets, smart phones and other portable devices. And hopefully you have already discovered the web mapping section on CanadianGIS.com about the many great Canadian online web maps that are out (and grows every month) to help make our lives easier.

 Ottawa - Ontario - Google Maps View 1I remember when I first started out in GIS, how it was always challenging to explain to people what I did for a living (and that I did not actually just make the road maps they bought at the gas station).

Now days it has been much easier to explain to people what GIS is thanks to the rather recent increased knowledge about GIS and Geomatics due to more people using the basic free online mapping services like Google or Bing Maps.

Therefore I thought it was time to look at perhaps the two most common free mapping services that most of use all the time to see, how they compare to one another and how they have evolved over the past few years.

 Google Maps – maps.google.ca

So I will start off with Google Maps since I am sure most of us have come across a map generated in google or a website using Google before.

Google Maps is a web mapping service that powers many online map-based services, such as the main Google Maps website, Google Ride Finder, Google Transit, and embedded maps on thousands of websites that use Google Maps API.

Google Maps as we know it know started off as a little C++ program designed by two brothers Lars Rasmussen and Jens Rasmussen from the company Where 2 Technologies. Originally it was a stand-alone program that you needed to download and was not a web based product like it is today. In 2004 Google acquired their company and then transformed the mapping software into an interactive web application.

The first version released in 2005, was based on raster tiles organized into quad tree schematic layouts with the data loading done via XML & HTTP requests. Google uses JavaScript to serve the map data into your browser application. Perhaps the big thing that made Google’s product stand out from the others was when they provided code that allowed other users to integrate maps into their own websites (e.g. CanadianGIS.com).

Vancouver - Google Street View 1

Google Maps offers street maps, and a routine planner that can be configured for the method you are traveling (whether it is by foot, car, bike, or via public transportation). It also has an urban business locator for numerous countries in the world.

In 2007, they added Streetview, which provides users with a 360° captured view of streets in most major towns and cities. Basically a system was designed with multiple cameras that were mounted to the roof of vehicles that could capture data on all sides of the vehicles as the vehicle drove down the street.

Some areas are obviously covered better than others, but the project continues so more areas are covered as time goes on. They also incorporate satellite imagery and aerial photography in many places as well (whenever data sets are available); with the ability to produce quick Hybrid style maps containing map layers, labels and imagery fused together into one mapping product.

The Google Maps application has been pretty rock solid providing others the ability to show case their own mapping data without the need of purchasing high-end GIS mapping software.

Next up will be Microsoft’s Bing Maps. Click Here to continue reading …

 

Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape

Alberta's changing political web map

On April 23, 2012 thousands of electors headed to the polls for Alberta’s 28th provincial election. In all 87 candidates were elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, 4 more then 2008 due to an increase in the provinces growing population. The Progressive Conservative party won a majority with 61 of the 87 elected ridings.

More information about Alberta general elections can be found at the Elections Alberta website. Instead I will continue to discuss Alberta’s 28th provincial election but as it relates to mapping, but what does a provincial election have to do with mapping?

Well… ESRI Canada has what they refer to as a Public Map Gallery that is a collection of custom web maps created by their mapping team featuring Canadian community maps, Canadian election results, and various census data. Here they leveraged some of their online spatial tools and features available together with public domain data to create an interactive online mapping application of Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape.

The online interactive political map can help people visualize the results from Alberta’s past three provincial elections all together in one interactive browser window. A similar online mapping application like this one was also created for the last federal election in 2011.

“The Esri Canada Mapping Team who is responsible for the construction of a series of Canadian Community Maps and web applications hosted on ArcGIS.com. The Esri Canada Community Maps Program provides a cost-effective and efficient framework for organizations to share their geographic information with the public.” http://maps.esri.ca/gallery/

Alberta's changing political web map

Using the interactive mapping application of Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape a person can view results from Alberta’s 2004, 2008, 2012 elections and when they zoom into an area of interest in one map window, all the other windows will zoom to the same level automatically making it very easy to compare the results from place to place.

An additional information tool is provided that allows people to click on any electoral riding and the basic information for that one appears below the map, containing information such as the elected party, the MLA, the electoral district name, number of electors, voter turnout etc. To check out the online Alberta map for your self go to http://maps.esri.ca/ElectoralMaps/AB_GeneralElections/


Do you know about any Canadian online web maps that are not covered by CanadianGIS.com? Then let me know and I will look into adding it to our database.

Comparison of top Free Online Map Sites (part 3)

 Click Here to go to the start of this article or 

Click Here to go back to part 2

This is part 3 of the feature – Comparison of Free Online Map Sites ‘Bing Maps vs Google Maps’ that takes a closer look at Google & Microsoft’s web mapping services.

Major Differences/Pros and Cons

User Experience

Vancouver - Bing Slide ViewBing Maps tends to offer more automated features than Google Maps does and it automatically changes style and details as the user zooms in and out. As you scroll around the map, the bar at the left dynamically updates things such as weather, pictures, and Photosynths for the current area. Google Maps is more basic in form, sticking to its trademark look, offers fewer features and uses JavaScript making it often more choppy zooming in and out.

Location Search Accuracy

Both have done a great job utilizing spatial database data to provide a better accurate search, although sometimes you may find one does a better job over the other in different areas (with no real reasoning of why). Also the more information you have to provide (e.g. adding postal code) in your search then obviously the better your results will be.

Both map services offer driving directions that can be easily achieved by stating a start and end point. Driving directions that I have tested with both services were usually pretty accurate with estimated travel times based on mode of transportation provided by both has been pretty good as well.

Satellite Image Resolution

Imagery data sets for both services vary from place to place but overall it seems that Bing Maps uses newer and better quality satellite images than Google Maps does. Bing Maps images are generally about a year old (about 215 terabytes of high-resolution imagery to Bing Maps was recently added by Microsoft), where Google Maps images have an average of about 2 to 3 years old. With Bing Maps, you can also zoom in closer than with Google Maps (if the data exists).

Bird’s-eye View of Bing Maps offers a 3D view of buildings in major cities (mostly in the USA) and many places that are not highly (like most parts ofCanada) populated will not have any higher resolution imagery and only basic larger scale Landsat data will be provided. Sometimes Google imagery does not flow well together, mixing dark and light data sets and some with clouds and other obstructions (usually a pet peeve for anyone who works in Remote Sensing) . However both vendors provide better imagery as they obtain it so aerial imagery in various areas is constantly changing.

In a bid to keep up with its arch mapping rival, Microsoft is taking on Google Maps in the high-resolution space with a 215 terabyte update of Bird’s Eye imagery.

Microsoft has piled on another 215 terabytes of high-resolution imagery to Bing Maps, less than a month after it dished out a massive 165 terabyte cache of mapping data to the service. [source: news.cnet.com ]

          Bing Slide View CoverageGoogle Street View Coverage

Streetside View vs. Streetview

Both Bing Maps and Google Maps have street-level views, where there is a panoramic view taken from the top of a car and stitched together so it looks like you were standing there. Bing’s “Streetside view” shots are clearer, with higher resolutions and more features (such as Flicker and Photosynth) integrated into the viewing experience. Bing’s Worldwide telescope integration is a feature that allows viewers to look up to view the night-time sky above them. Google’s streetview also has a “user images” feature that offers more photos than Bing does, but they are presented as a slide shoe, instead of being layered as they are with Bing. Google’s Streetview is worthy of an honorable mention because of the numbers of areas around the world that it has captured.

Ottawa - Ontario - Google Maps

 Summary

Both Bing Maps and Google Maps offer effective web mapping platforms with very similar yet unique features . Bing tends to have better features and tools integrated into it, and can operate smoother than Google Maps but their coverage of data in Canada is relatively pretty weak.

Both have great features to offer but neither one seems to really fully out shine the other over all, witch in a way can be a good thing as these two web giants continue to go head to head providing us with more free web mapping tools to make our every day lives better.

I myself tend to use Google Maps more perhaps out of habit from being a big Google Earth user, but can honestly admit I do go back and forth between the two mapping applications  depending on what I am using them for. ArcGIS now offers Bing products as free base maps for ArcMap layouts so that certainly has increased my Bing maps usage.

For example, I find that Bing does a better job of providing names of streets and rivers and the Bird’s Eye imagery always provides more than one view of an object (although not available for many places in Canada). And a lot depends on the imagery of data that is available in the area I am working with, so I tend to sometimes check both to see which one is better.

And actually someone has come up with a web application that provides both mapping applications in the same window for times when you want to compare (http://www.jonasson.org/maps/). So go ahead and check out these two popular free web mapping applications and then leave some comments about witch one you prefer over the other.

Maps - Bing Maps vs Google Maps

References

Microsoft – http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/bing/ff808582.aspx

Google – http://support.google.com/maps/?hl=en

Wikipedia. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Maps & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bing_Maps

 

 

 

Comparison of top Free Online Map Sites (part 2)

 Click Here to go back to the start of this article

This is part 2 of the feature – Comparison of Free Online Map Sites ‘Bing Maps vs Google Maps’ that takes a closer look at Google & Microsoft’s web mapping services.

Bing Maps – maps.bing.ca

Ottawa - Ontario - Google Street View 1

Bing Maps is Microsoft’s web mapping service provided as a part of their Bing suite of search engines and powered by the Bing Maps for Enterprise framework. Originally called Microsoft Virtual Earth, the first version was released in 2005.

In 2010 a fully overhauled design for the default view was launched as well as adding dynamic labels. Bing optimizes the power of the Silverlight engine combined withAJAXto serve the map data into your browser application.

It offers street maps, featuring road view, aerial view, bird’s-eye view, streetside view (with geo-tagged photos from Flickr and Photosynth integration), and 3D view (as an add-on), driving directions, and several different map apps.

The Bird’s Eye imagery feature provides end-users with high-resolution, oblique look angle imagery in four different look-directions providing a different visual context appealing to many spatial tasks. This neat feature allows you to look at an object from one angle and then spin your screen around and see the same object from a different perspective.

Ottawa - Ontario - Bing Birds Eye View 2Ottawa - Ontario - Bing Birds Eye View 1

Bing Maps provides traffic information and ClearFlow traffic data, as well as allowing users to share maps and embed them into their websites. Other features include people, location, and business search functions, and satellite imagery (“Bing Maps,” 2011; Pike, 2010).

Table 1

Top Features of Bing Maps and Google Maps

Bing Maps

Google Maps

Road, Satellite, Bird’s-eye views

Road, Satellite, Terrain views

Streetside view, with Flickr and Photosynth picture overlays

Streetview

3D models ofU.S.cities

Panorama Integration

Driving Directions and Traffic Information

Mobile Map apps

Bird’s Eye imagery

Driving Directions and Traffic Information

 

Washington Bing Street View 1Washington Google Street View 1

 

Major Differences/Pros and Cons

User Experience

Bing Maps tends to offer more automated features than Google Maps does and it automatically changes style and details as the user zooms in and out. As you scroll around the map, the bar at the left dynamically updates things such as weather, pictures, and Photosynths for the current area. Google Maps is more basic in form, sticking to its trademark look, offers fewer features and uses JavaScript making it often more choppy zooming in and out.

 Click Here to continue reading … or Click Here to go back to the start of this article

 

Canadian Maps

A major part of any GIS are Canadian Maps produced that help illustrate and provide visible spatial information, the Canadian GIS & Geomatics site has been providing people with map resources since 2005, and continues to list great resources. To find some awesome Canadian maps, check some of the links below, browse through our data and Canadian map listings, use the search tools found along the right hand side or follow us on Twitter (we post images and links to a wide variety of maps daily).

Canadian Maps

Canadian Maps & many more GIS Resources

UTM zones & rows map – With this world map you can easily find out what UTM zone you are working from.

Geomatics & Cartography – great basic overview of Cartography with examples and plenty of resources.

Various Canadian maps resources

Old Canadian Maps from various Provinces

Web mapping applications featuring Canadian maps

Do you have any great Canadian maps that you would like us to share? Then let us know!

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